E-cigarettes and vape juice have long been referred to as tobacco products in the US. Many vaping advocates argue that this is an inaccurate description as the items associated with vaping don’t actually contain leaf tobacco. Well, it seems that one academic journal agrees. Marcus Munafò, the Nicotine and Tobacco Research editor-in-chief, has said that the research journal will only use the term “tobacco products” for leaf containing products. This magazine is leading the way in exclusively discussing scientific matters relating to tobacco and nicotine.
Nicotine and Tobacco Research rejecting the term “tobacco products” in relation to vaping flies in the face of what the FDA recommends and their typical verbiage. The FDA and other organizations get away with referring to vape products this way because of the US Tobacco Control Act, which allows all nicotine containing products to be categorized as such. However, they don’t describe nicotine patches, gums, or inhalers the way, which is hypocritical to say the least. Not surprising though, considering they make money off of these products.
Munafò says in regards to this discrepancy, “As a scientific journal, definitions matter, and a legal ruling in a single country is not a sound basis for determining whether a certain definition is valid.”
The US is, for the most part, unique in their concept of what constituents such a product. It is a phenonemon unique to us that we define vaping as tobacco due to U.S. legal/regulatory descriptions. In fact, a lot of our industry is at the mercy of the FDA’s regulations and its vice grip on what we can or can’t do. Its stranglehold on the media and the information the public consumes doesn’t help the misconceptions floating around.
Munafò urges scientists to use specific names for the different devices (such as e-cigarettes). He says the language should be, “clear, unambiguous, and scientifically appropriate.” Many of us have often wanted these organizations and academic journals to use the proper technologically appropriate terms for vaping devices and liquid. Munafò is a great advocate for this in a very influential position. This is a great step in the right direction to hopefully demystify the world of vaping and fight public misinformation.
You may also like our article on the ACS says vaping is much better than smoking!